Comic books have always been the perfect example of a balance between words & pictures and if you take one of those elements away then you’re setting yourself a real challenge to convey a story to the reader but Bob Turner tackles that exact method in his 3-part release DTHRTL (Death Rattle).
The basic premise follows a simple affair of our unnamed hero meeting with Death and escaping his clutches as they face-off in the ultimate epic battles……Rock-Paper-Scissors. That overly simplistic description may well cover the premise but it doesn’t do Bob Turner’s book justice because if you can truly jump on-board from that first issue you’ll be swept up in an adventure of life vs Death with everything you could imagine in between.
Across those three issues the pursuit sees monsters, portals, chases and a whole mix of intricate ideas that manage to capture more power across a few panels than most series achieve in a whole series. This highlights just how smart Bob has been in his story-telling with a steady pace containing subtle elements thrown in to make sure you don’t even notice the lack of words because you’re already on-board and focused on tracking our hero through to the end.
Death doesn’t give up though and as he gains on our hero and the Rock-Paper-Scissors feel like they are swaying in Death’s favour you’re inclined to shout “RUN!!!” at the pages in the hope that you’ll see more beyond these three issues. The charm oozes out of every page and some of the layouts invoke an 8-bit video game vibe coming from whole pages showing our heroes progress across an ever-changing landscape. The plot and the art from Bob in particular glows and they combine perfectly to make sure he nails the whole concept…..challenge accepted….and challenge blown away.
This may not suit some but it definitely nestles in that “Hidden Gem” category that the indie/small press releases manage to hit time and again. DTHRTL has everything going for it and it’s appeal in terms of style & infectious central theme is broad given it easily covers all-ages. Simple storytelling given a unique style that can be experienced multiple times with the same sense of appreciation…..Great stuff.
The third issue is set for release later this month at MCM Scotland in Glasgow on the 24th & 25th. You can get hold of DTHRTL over on the Castle Rock Comics online shop or check in with Bob over on Twitter.